Wednesday, December 12, 2018


You found that old LeBlond lathe, or Clausing drill press.  Where do you find the manual that didn't come with it?   That is an important question.  I've found myself there almost everytime I've purchased a machine tool.

When it comes to digging for obscure, obsolete, or just vintage instruction manuals, Google is our friend.  I normally have other words for it, but it is an important tool.

the second mill I bought

I usually start out broad, then add pdf in the search box:  "Clausing drill press pdf"  also use the model number if possible:  "leblond regal manual pdf".  If you get a lot of hits, then start refining the terms.

These are the spot's I've found that have the most information:

Keith Rucker's Vintage Machinery.  Tons of good stuff in there. in the UK has a ton of good info as well.

Blogs sometimes do a good job of detailing work, with pictures!  My favorite example.  My Clausing drill documentation is basically the blog printed out, with a manual I found online.  I made detailed measurements and recorded the bearing sizes in the book.

Sometimes, you have to buy them.  Like from this guy.  He also sells on ebay.  He has a lot of manuals. 

Last is the manufacturer.  Most of them don't have the info any longer, sometimes they do, but their cost can be prohibitive.  Logan lathes is an exception to this.

Fortunately I got this manual before it disappeared, like Enco

If you get totally skunked, look for the patent numbers, then dig up the drawings.  Using map colors, you can identify the component lines to figure out how it goes together.

Yeah, I have a couple reams of paper just waiting to be used.

I print mine out and then bind them with a comb binding.  That way, if I discover more stuff, like a sales flier with options or accessories, then I can stick them in with the rest of my information.  It goes from being a manual to being documentation.  That's allowed me to find accessories for the old world war two LeBlond that I didn't know existed.

A wealth of info in out of print books.

But wait!  There's more!!!  Google books has lots of out of print books scanned in and ready to download.  I print those out if I need them.  I'm old school.  I like to have something in my hand I can take notes on.  These comb bound books do that for me.  I recently added a pc in the shop, but don't have all my library on it yet.

More to follow....


  1. I have had pretty good luck with Vintage Machinery and GOOGLing stuff too. Thanks for some of those links, I will be bookmarking that Ozarktool one for sure.
    I just might have to see if I can find the one for that Jap drill press I am working on.
    BTW, I am in the middle of the JB Weld trick on the table. I am not sure how it is going to turn out but know it will be immensely better than when I started. My first pass with the palm sander showed me that it was in worse shape than I thought. There will be pictures eventually.

  2. I'm really interested in seeing how that turns out. I saw your post with the arc of shame and the JB weld. If the holes aren't too bad, I'll just leave them. But yours almost looked like it got chewed through. Let me know how your search for bolts and skirted nuts goes. I've never made skirted bolts... That would be interesting...